Agriculture & Food Security
Agriculture has deep roots in North Saanich beginning with the WSÁNEĆ First Nations cultivating, harvesting and preserving foods for thousands of years on the land. With European colonization, early pioneers began to grow food and forage for crops in the 1860’s. Agricultural activities subsequently evolved to include grain, hops, dairy, sheep, poultry and hog farming and these were accompanied by associated processing and distribution infrastructures.
Following the construction of the Royal Canadian Air Force Base in 1939, agricultural industries entered a period of decline beginning with dairy farms and after World War II, other farming activities due to the changing economics of farming and globalization of the agricultural sectors.
The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) was introduced in 1973, today nearly 35% of the District is within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). As of March 2019 there were 125 parcels classified as farm by BC Assessment. Retaining the viability of these lands is important in terms of providing local food security and economic diversity, but also in terms of preserving valuable rural landscapes for the community. The Strategic Plan priorities and goals and Official Community Plan objectives and policies support the rural and agricultural resources.
Council has supported many initiatives and projects that help improve our food security:
- Agriculture Area Plan 2010
- Whole Community Agricultural Strategy 2011
- Agricultural Economic Development Strategy 2012
- Whole Community Agricultural Strategy 2016
For further information on Agriculture in North Saanich, please contact the Planning department.